Bafana Bafana's upcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Prinicipe have been called off due to the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
CAF have on Friday announced the suspension of all continental qualifying fixtures, which were scheduled for the coming FIFA break later this month.
This follows the World Health Organisation declaring the new coronavirus a pandemic earlier this week, while the number of confirmed cases in South Africa rose from seven to 24 in recent days.
In a statement, the continental football governing body announced:
"As CAF's top priority remains the health and safety of our stakeholders (players, officials, sponsors, broadcasters, employees, etc.), we have been monitorng closely, together with our medical committee, the impact of the current coronavirus crisis and accordingly:
- Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by WHO
- In Africa, only a few cases have been reported, but the situation could evolve negatively
- Several players, who are supposed to play the next AFCON qualifiers, come from countries which have been severely affected by the virus (Europe, Asia)
- Several African governments have taken strong restrictions on travels: lock down, quarantine for people coming from countries affected by the virus.
- Several clubs refuse now to release their players for the next international matches
"For the above reasons and after studying carefully the current situation, CAF has decided to postpone the Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled from 25 to 31 March."
This means that Molefi Ntseki's side will not be assembling as initially scheduled on 22 March but players will instead remain with their clubs sides during the 10-day international break.
The Premier Soccer League has yet to take any measures against the spread of coronavirus in the country, barring a statement requesting its stakeholders to practive caution.